Europe

'This is not consent': Women share photos of their underwear in rape trial protest

0:00

Women have been sharing photos of their underwear on social media to combat "victim blaming in the courts."

Women have taken to social media to share photos of their underwear after a 27-year-old man was acquitted in a rape trial during which the woman's 'thong' was brought up in court.

The criminal court case ended with the man being found not guilty of raping a 17-year-old in the city of Cork in Ireland.

But the defence barrister's argument garnered widespread attention after she told the jury to take into account what the teenager was wearing.

"You have to look at the way she was dressed. She was wearing a thong with a lace front," she said, according to the Irish Examiner newspaper on 6 November.

0:00
Irish MP holds up blue lacy underwear in parliament to protest dress consent
Irish MP holds up blue lacy underwear in parliament to protest dress consent

This prompted Irish MP Ruth Coppinger to show blue lacy underwear in the Dáil (Irish parliament) and share a powerful message to her colleagues.

"It might seem embarrassing to show a pair of thongs here... how do you think a rape victim or a woman feels at the incongruous setting of her underwear being shown in a court?"

Since the media attention, many women have turned to social media and post photos of their underwear accompanied by the hashtag 'This Is Not Consent'.

Ms Coppinger also posted a photo of the underwear she showed in parliament after she learned the camera quickly cut away from her on the day.

Following the outrage, a number of protests were held nationwide at lunchtime on Wednesday.

In Cork, up to 200 people marched towards the courthouse and laid down their underwear in protest to "victim-blaming in the courts".

In Dublin, protesters marched towards the Spire and hung underwear on a "washing line".

More protests are set to take place in Limerick on Wednesday and Waterford in the south-east on Friday.

Stay up to date with SBS NEWS

  • App
  • Subscribe
  • Follow
  • Listen
  • Watch